Ace Paint Century

A little over a week ago I participated in the Ace Paint Century charity ride with my Dad.  We chose to ride the 65 mile route.  Initially I was a little nervous because I have not been out on my bike much.  I think the farthest I have ridden this season was 25 miles and that was a few months ago.  I have been running regularly but cycling uses a different set of muscles and I wasn’t sure if my legs would carry me the full 65.  Worst case scenario I couldn’t make and I ride the SAG wagon back to the start…what do I have to lose?

I will say that it turned out to be a beautiful day.  The previous week back in Kansas City we were in the triple digits almost the entire time.  One day I think the heat index was almost 120 so a morning in the 70’s felt downright amazing.  We did not have any wind that day either, which was another big worry.

The route was great.  There was only a few miles on a busy road but being a Sunday morning it was pretty empty.  Throughout our ride volunteers drove by to check on the riders.  All the SAG stations were well supported and had the usual things you need, Gatorade, water, fruit, energy bars.  We made it in about 5 or so hours averaging 13 mph.  The fact that there were almost no hills and not wind helped greatly with this.

In the end I believe there were 166 riders that raised $61,767 for Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network. It was a very enjoyable ride.

Stopped for a break at a park in Frankfort, IL

My Dad riding into the next SAG stop

Just and Idea about how flat it was

One of the SAG stops along the route.


Do ugly shoes make you run faster?

The answer would be:  Yes.  It has been a little over a year since I have started running (fairly) regularly.  My current shoes will be getting towards the end of their running life this fall and it was time to throw another pair into the rotation.  I was looking for something lower to the ground, not as bulky, but still providing the stability that I think I need.  I went to Garry Gribble’s on two evenings and tried on a whole slew of shoes.  So naturally I picked the ugliest ones I could find.  The Mizuno Wave Elixir.  It really wasn’t my intention to get shoes that were so flashy but they felt good and were stiffer than many of the others.  (I have found that I don’t like super cushioned shoes, it feels liked I am bouncing along the road).  Hopefully these will carry me through to a decent finish at the Kansas City Half Marathon this October.  It will be my first….I still don’t know why I am doing it.  Now I just need to train more consistently so I wont collapse in the middle.

Running Wars Episode VI: Return of the Shod

Alright….I give up and I may be the only person in the world who has given up running in Vibram Five Fingers, at least that is what my Google searches tell me. I have been running in them for 3 months now at about 10-15 miles per week.  I have not been able to make it past the 3 mile mark for the last month without stabbing pain in my arch.  It would never hurt afterwards, just when I was running.  I understand that I may have done TMTS (too much too soon) but it has come to the point where I needed to make a decision.  With three races coming up in the next three months and all of them being 6 miles or longer I couldn’t see how I would be able to run in my VFF’s.  So the past two runs I have completed have been wearing my beefy stability shoes.  I know all of the barefoot runners and minimalist runners would curse me for becoming fully shod again but I didn’t have the patience to continue in my journey otherwise.  Although this process has been frustrating to me I have learned some good things.  I am a moderate overpronator which helps me understand where my arch pain is coming from.  I was not able to correct this with the VFF’s, I would find myself continuing to land on the outside of my foot towards the heel and land on my big toe putting a lot of stress on the arch.  While I was not completely able to change how my feet landed I was able to change where they have landed.  My stride has shortened allowing my feet to hit closer to my center of gravity and less on my heel extend out in front of me.

So far things have been going well.  I am starting to enjoy running again.  I really did like running in my VFF’s and feeling the road in a totally different way but it just wasn’t working for me.  Maybe I will try again some day when I don’t have a 1/2 marathon approaching in 3 months.

Wakarusa: Fozzie Bear’s off road race?

One thing that I have found out about myself over the years is that if I don’t have a goal I become like the sloth.  Not like the cute ones you see on Go Diego Go! but the actual ones that barely leave their spot and move incredibly slow.  I never really liked going to the gym so instead I set up small goals a few months out to work towards.  For example I am hoping to run the 10k at the North Face Endurance Challenge.  It seems to be a little out of reach because my transition to the Vibram Five Fingers is going slower than I would wish.  Beyond that I have set a goal that may not be quite so little,  the Wakarusa Off-Road Challenge.  A friend and I will be participating as a two person team.  What possessed us to do this, slight insanity? A liking for pain?  Wanting a challenge? whatever the reason may be we will walk away from something unlike anything I have done so far.

The race is a combination of trail-running, mountain biking, and canoeing.  It starts with a 2.2 mile run then 17.2 mile mountain bike ride followed by a 4 mile canoe trip and finishing with a 4 mile run.  I am going to “officially” start my training for this.  Last year the top five male teams finished in about 3 hours.  I am not sure if that is achievable for us but it sounds like a good goal to work towards.  What is it that all the tough guys say, you know the ones that walk around in tight Ed Hardy shirts?  “Go hard or go home”?  How about “Go hard and finish sometime before the last person without dying along the way.”  I think that is more my style.

On a slightly different note in preparation for this I was able to find a decent used mountain bike.  I took it out to Landahl Park the other day and it rides wonderfully.


“Finishing that 5k was the hardest thing I ever had to do.  I ate more fettuccine Alfredo, and drank less water than I have in my entire life.  People always talk about triumphs of the human spirit.  Today I had a triumph of the human body.  My guts. My heart.  While I eventually puked my guts out, I never puked my heart out.  And I am very, very proud of that”

-Michael Scott

Hospital Hill Results

I know for those other runners out there that this technically isn’t very fast for a 5K.  For instance my buddy Sam who ran with me and did less training killed it at 21:36.  But I am happy with my time.  It was a minute slower than I ran it last year but this was my first race in my Vibram Five Fingers.  I must say that I was initially worried at the before hand.  The farthest I have made it before this was 2.8 miles with no hills.  I am sure that the adrenaline of the race helped me get through.  This is definitely not a fast course just take a look at this elevation profile:

Running this in my VFF’s was great.  I can say one thing for sure I hammered these hills better than I ever did in regular shoes.  Since you strike mid/fore foot you can power up hills like nobody’s business.  Unfortunately going downhill wasn’t so easy.  I couldn’t over stride and let gravity do its work.  Towards the end I was getting the hang of it and should do better at my next race.

My goal right now is to work up to a half-marathon by October.  I am not sure if that is pushing too hard or not with this transition to the VFF’s.  In August I am planning on running the North Face Endurance Challenge 10K to gauge where my training is at.  I also wonder if I should train in Nike Free’s for longer races such as a half or full marathon in the future.

Distance 5K
Clock Time 29:06
Chip Time 25:49
Overall Place 185 / 2001
Gender Place 152 / 726
Division Place 22 / 104
Divtotal 104
Sextotal 728
Pace 8:19

Hospital Hill 5K

This weekend will be my first race using my Vibram Five Fingers.  So far I have slowly extended my training runs.  The farthest I have been able to make it is 2.8 miles.  I have begin to get soreness in my arch and heels towards the end of a run.  Each time I run that has been pushed back a little farther.  I am nervous about about the actual run since I haven’t made it 3.1 miles in my VFF’s yet.  I am not looking to make a PR but rather to finish without falling over.  Here’s to running….lets see how it goes.

What do I get myself into?

For whatever reason I think about projects and do not always consider all the implications and details that go into it.  I recently had the idea to repaint my road bike frame.  I want it to be plain but unique.  How hard can it be?  I just need to pull all the components and throw some paint on right?  Then I started reading other people’s expeditions and learned about priming aluminum and what paint works and what doesn’t.  Just like everything else everyone has their own opinion on what is the best.  So lets just find out….it sounds like a good project to me.

The Beginning

Mountain Biking Where There are No Mountains

I pursued my first real attempt at single track riding this week.  After thousands of miles of road riding over the past few years you would think I would be better prepared for a couple of miles on the trail….I guess not.  I learned a couple of things that day:

1.  My bike is a beast and by beast I mean almost as heavy as my car.  I am riding an old steel Nishiki that doesn’t really fit but it was free.

2.  Tick season has begun.  I found three of my small blood sucking friends hitching a ride on me.

3.  Singletrack is a lot of fun and I really enjoyed getting into the woods at Landahl park.  There was no one else out that day so there was no one to make fun of me when I couldn’t make it up some hills.

I now want to try and get on the trail more maybe with a better bike some day.